Did you ever watch in dismay as a good team began to make a series of bad decisions?
It can happen with any kind of team – a work team, sports team, political team, or volunteer team… in any kind of setting – business, government, school, non-profit.
Here’s what happens: The team starts off enthusiastically and moves ahead quickly. Things seem to be humming along, and then, bam! They make some terrible decisions, things come to a screeching halt, and everyone wants to jump ship.
If you’ve ever been a member of one of these teams, you know how devastating it is for all involved. If you wondered what happened, you might find some clues here.
More importantly, if you are currently a member . . . → Read More: Why Good Teams Make Bad Decisions
You might think you’re a team player, especially if you’re the kind of person who gets things done and is committed to helping your team meet its objectives. But if you don’t also pay attention to how your team works together, you may actually be a ninja – acting solo in service of your team.
The problem with being a ninja is you can inadvertently undermine your team’s effectiveness.
Meet James, a Ninja in Disguise.
When James was asked if he would like to join the new product team, he accepted enthusiastically. He had expertise in several product lines, had launched new products before and prided himself in being a team player.
The company was interested in extending their reach into new markets, and . . . → Read More: Are You a Team Player or a Ninja?
Chris, the leader of the planning committee for the next District Managers Meeting, sent an email to the company’s leadership team describing two possible venues. Emails flew around as people weighed in. Someone wrote that it looked like the decision was in favor of the first venue. More emails then flew around expressing concern about its distance from the airport. Chris then proposed a third venue. There was one response saying, “Looking forward to hearing what you find out.” And interestingly, the flood of emails ceased.
Chris doesn’t realize it, but this is just the calm before the storm. It’s not clear which decisions are to be made by the planning committee and which by the leadership team. Busy leaders will soon get annoyed . . . → Read More: The Five Steps of CRISP Decision-Making
When was the last time you were with a group of people that needed to make a decision, where people tossed out ideas and at least one suggestion was totally ignored? If you’re like most of us, it was probably within the last few weeks, whether in a business meeting or a social setting.
Did you realize that the group actually did make a decision? The decision was “no” – it just wasn’t acknowledged. Teams are constantly making decisions, often without first being clear about how the decision will be made.
When teams are not clear on how their decision will be made, they often don’t make the best decisions.
For instance, we often assume that silence means consent—if you don’t say anything you . . . → Read More: How to Avoid Team Decisions That Plop
Almost all of us have experienced or observed a team that made a “right” decision that wasn’t effectively implemented because team members did not feel good about how the decision was made.
Developing and using effective team behaviors ensures your team not only makes good decisions but also that team members are willing and able to support and implement them.
And afterward, if a problem occurs and a team member is asked why the decision was made, they will take ownership and reply, “We thought…” rather than “They thought…”
Use the checklist below to observe whether your team utilizes all of these behaviors. Not all people need to do all of these things, but if these behaviors are not occurring at all, then your . . . → Read More: The Right Decisions Depend on “How” – 3 Things You Can Do to Help Your Team